Aug 17 2017 Posted: 11:34 IST

Lecture by Thomas Healy, Law Professor at Seaton Hall University

Thursday, 14 September 2017, 12 – 1 pm,

Seminar Room

Irish Centre for Human Rights

The Birth of Free Speech in America


The American system of free speech is widely regarded as one of the most protective in the world. Yet for much of its history, the United States legal system did little to protect the right of free expression. It wasn’t until the searing experience of World War I, when thousands of dissenters were jailed for criticizing the government, that a genuine appreciation for the right of free speech took hold. And even then, it took a series of extraordinary events – and a highly unusual lobbying campaign targeted at a Supreme Court justice – to usher in the modern era of free speech. In this lecture, Professor Thomas Healy will discuss the evolution of free speech in the United States and explain how legal concepts developed by American judges a century ago – such as the “marketplace of ideas” and “clear and present danger” – continue to be relevant around the globe today.

 Thomas Healy is a law professor at Seton Hall University. He is the author of “The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind – and Changed the History of Free Speech in America,” which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was selected as a New York Times Book Review  editor’s choice.

 All are welcome